For the past two years, Terry Collins has made a big angry fuss about players showing up to spring training late. Wait, that’s wrong: he’s made a big angry fuss about players showing up to spring training on time.
In 2011 it was Luis Castillo. Last year it was Ruben Tejada. Each time Collins made it clear that he wanted players there early and that, to him anyway, on time was late. Never mind what those pansy rules say about reporting dates. If you’re not early you just don’t want it bad enough.
Sadly, this year Ruben Tejada is going to make Collins find someone else to yell at for only giving 100 instead of 110%:
After irritating manager Terry Collins last year by waiting until the deadline for position players to report before arriving in camp, the Mets shortstop yesterday said he will be in Port St. Lucie on Saturday — a full week before his presence is required.
So who will it be this year? Lucas Duda? Ike Davis? Maybe Mike Baxter. Gotta be someone who fulfills his contractual requirements and not Collins’ requirements, right?
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.